Literature Ministries International
- By Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
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“WE OUGHT ALSO...”
Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 1 John 4:11
The question is, what do you do about those people who seem to irritate you and are a problem to you and who really make things rather difficult? Here is John’s answer: “If God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.” This means something like this: Instead of giving way to that instinctive feeling that I have, instead of speaking or acting or reacting at once, I stop and I talk to myself. I remind myself of the Christian truth that I believe, and I apply it to the whole situation. Now that is something that you and I have to do. This life of which the New Testament speaks is full of the intellectual aspect. It is not a feeling. You do not wait until you feel like loving other people—you make yourself love other people (“we ought”). According to the New Testament, Christians can make themselves love other Christians, and they are failing sadly if they do not do so.
How do they do it? They remind themselves of this truth: “If God so loved us.” In other words, this is the procedure. The first thing I do when I feel irritated and disturbed and bewildered and perhaps antagonistic is to look at myself. Now that is half the battle. We all know perfectly well from experience that in this kind of problem the whole difficulty is that we are always looking at the other person and never at ourselves. But if I start with myself—if God so loved me—what do I find?
But usually I instinctively feel that I am being wronged, that I am not being dealt with fairly. I feel it is the other person who is difficult. “One minute!” says the gospel; “stop for a moment and look at yourself and remind yourself of exactly what you are.” The gospel brings us immediately face to face with this self that is in us that is the cause of all these troubles.
A Thought to Ponder Christians can make themselves love other Christians.
From The Love of God, pp. 68-69.
Today’s devo is taken from Walking with God Day by Day © 2003 by Good News Publishers. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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